Think tank develops low-carbon city models in China

Updated: 2012-01-12 10:17

By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

WASHINGTON - The World Resources Institute (WRI) will initiate a five-year program in two Chinese cities to develop low-carbon city models.

WRI is an environmental think tank founded in 1982 and based in Washington, DC. Five cities in China, Brazil and India will participate in the project, including the city of Qingdao, Shandong province (eastern China), and Chengdu, Sichuan province (western China).

China, Brazil and India are among the world's most rapidly urbanizing nations. In China, experts predict that by 2030 more than 70 percent of its people will live in cities, and that 221 cities will have at least a million residents, according to WRI.

WRI is kicking off the project with a five-city US study tour for a delegation of Chinese government officials from Jan 7-12. Led by Su Wei, China's chief negotiator on climate change, the delegation includes officials from four Chinese provinces and cities.

On Wednesday, WRI co-hosted a workshop with the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC) to exchange experiences and ideas about low-carbon development. The event featured the signing of a memorandum of understanding among WRI, NDRC and the Caterpillar Foundation. In December, the Caterpillar Foundation announced a five-year, $12.5 million grant to WRI to advance the project.

WRI intends to develop low-carbon city models and pathways for environmentally sustainable urbanization and to promote the diffusion of environmentally smart and livable cities. The five urban centers will demonstrate how they can use "avoid, shift and improve" strategies to increase energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, and improve water quality, urban mobility and land use.

Clayton Lane, the global lead on the WRI Sustainable Cities Initiative, said WRI will create "blueprints" - low-carbon plans for environmentally sustainable and livable cities - to help implement large-scale, high-impact projects. WRI will then conduct a targeted outreach effort to disseminate lessons learned to other growing cities to help them adapt key elements to their own conditions.

Su Wei, director of the department of climate change at NDRC, said China is very serious about climate change issues. He added that the country is taking concrete steps to reduce energy intensity and increase energy efficiency.

From 2006 to 2010, China successfully increased energy efficiency by 20 percent from 2005 levels, he said. In China's 12th Five-Year Plan that began in 2011, it set a more ambitious target of improving energy efficiency by another 16-17 percent.

China Daily